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Thanks to announcements by State Attorney Phil Archer and other watchdogs interested in protecting consumers, potential donors are more aware of the myriad charity scams ready to take their cash — in person, by phone or over the Internet. Be sure you are among them armed with information that guards against fraudulent operators.
All charities soliciting in the State of Florida must register and file financial information with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Before donating, request written literature and a copy of the charity’s financial report. If you have not reviewed a charity’s history, financial allocations, and impact, you should think twice about donating.
You can verify whether a charity is registered with the State by calling 1-800-HELP-FLA / 1-800-435-7352.
Always protect yourself and your identity from phone, mail and e-mail solicitors. Do not give out your personal information over the phone unless you initiated the call, and you are certain that the organization, person and phone number you are calling is a trusted source.